Rimbaud - Illuminations

- Introduction -

It's been over 50 years since I started reading Rimbaud poetry.
It's been 20 years since I managed to read it in my own words.
During that time, Internet has developed, and AI technology has also advanced into translation work.

For more than the first 30 years, Rimbaud poems haven't become my own words.
I could understand the point from the professor who gave me the guidance that "The core of Rimbaud poetry is composed of his concrete things.", but his specific sentences did not remain in my mind.

I found the definite words in some poems and filled my own words around them.
Such work was accumulated to some extent, and then I was able to have my own space on Internet.

My current question is about "Le combat spirituel est aussi brutal que la bataille d'hommes (Spiritual combat is as brutal as human battle)" which from Adieu of "Une saison en enfer".
Rimbaud made this conclusion in 1873, but how long did that recognition last?

I would like to thank ichico for reading Rimbaud poetry together, studying it, and creating this website.
I would like to thank Mr. Ryuichiro Sotokawa for providing the Rimbaud portrait at the entrance of this website, and all the exceptional artists who gave me permission to shoot, provided the images, and cooperated with Poem Reading Performance " Les Anges ", and the excellent participants at "Place de Rimbaud" and the BBS.
Also, I would like to thank Mr. Claude Jeancolas and Mr. Pierre Brunel.
Furthermore, I would like to thank "ARTHUR RIMBAUD LE POÈTE" website for generously providing various information about Rimbaud on Internet.

Kunio Monji
January 8th, 2021

- Bienvenue! -

This is an official website where Kunio Monji translates and interprets the poems of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud. Produced and managed by art website "eyedia".

- January 8th, 2021 Renewal Update -

Kunio Monji completed the Japanese translation and interpretation of all the poems of "Illuminations" of Arthur Rimbaud poetry in the spring of 2015, and has started reviewing all the rest since the fall of 2020.
We also redesigned the website, and finally, we are very glad to publish this renewal today (coincidentally, it's the 125th year since Paul Verlaine departed).

Also, please let us announce that we put the English "Adieu" of "Une saison en enfer" translated at the end of 2019, and we hope you can enjoy listening to the French reading by Kunio Monji as well.

We have considered the new design website to be more friendly and look better on all devices; mobile and tablet etc. However, please understand that the contents may not be displayed perfect beautifully on mobile, as we create on desktop in priority.

We plan to update the English translations and interpretations of "Illuminations" and "Une saison en enfer" mainly this year, and also consider creating the PDF pages.
For your thoughts, requests, inquiries such as publishing and interview, please feel free to send your message from Contact Form.

We look forward to see you here on "Rimbaud.KunioMonji.com" soon again.

Website Designer - eyedia
January 8th, 2021


What impact did Rimbaud bring to the literature as a poet?
I think that it was the negation of words.
As the Bible says
"Then God commanded, "Let there be light"―and light appeared.",
the words are God and everything on the ground is made from the words of God.
So, if he brings the experience of all the future five senses in a poetic language to the real world,
if he becomes a predictor and can arrive at the unknown world at the end of his confusion,
like God, he can change the real society through his words.
But, his practices as a predictor brought only failures in his real life.
He made the detailed reports, completed the construct of words and abandon them.
Rimbaud abandoned both; to believe words and beauty but resist God like Baudelaire,
and to believe words and beauty but not believe God like Mallarmé.

"Il faut être absolument moderne.
Point de cantiques : tenir le pas gagné."
To abandon God must be to abandon words.
To abandon words must be to abandon God.
"Le combat spirituel est aussi brutal que la bataille d'hommes ; mais la vision de la justice est le plaisir de Dieu seul."

I think that we can see Rimbaud's modernité (modernity) in these words.
I say that his Illuminations is the process of modernité, not the result,
and see as "Collection of prints" reflecting the all things surrounding him.

June 29, 2006 Kunio Monji


I still read Rimbaud's poems, because his poems are the entrance to back to the pictures.
Photographer Dian Arbus ever talked such meaning once;
"when I observe a subject (object) precisely, it becomes fantastic.".
When I can have a glimpse of the live time of others by looking for the object
through reversing the words of Rimbaud's poem one by one,
it will become the data we can share, beyond sterile thought.

Nothing is ever the same as they said it was.
It's what I've never seen before that I recognize.
- Dian Arbus, "Five Photographs by Dian Arbus," Art Forum, May 1971

October, 2003 Kunio Monji

- Dian Arbus (1923-1971)
American photographer, her work "Freaks" is very known.

Nothing is ever the same as they said it was.
It's what I've never seen before that I recognize.
- Dian Arbus, "Five Photographs by Dian Arbus", Art Forum, May 1971

Translated by ichico, February 3rd, 2014